In this paper we measure "control" of nodes in a network by solving an associated optimisation problem. We motivate this so-called VL control measure by giving an interpretation in terms of allocating resources optimally to the nodes in order to maximise some search probability. We determine the VL control measure for various classes of networks. Furthermore, we provide two game theoretic interpretations of this measure. First it turns out that the VL control measure is a particular proper Shapley value of the associated cooperative network game. Secondly, we relate the measure to optimal strategies in an associated matrix search game. © 2008 Elsevier B.V.