This article has four main objectives. These are: to develop the dynamic fitness-distance balance (dFDB) selection method for meta-heuristic search algorithms, to develop a strong optimization algorithm using the dFDB method, to create an optimization model of the coordination of directional overcurrent relays (DOCRs) problem, and to optimize the DOCRs problem using the developed algorithm, respectively. A comprehensive experimental study was conducted to analyze the performance of the developed dFDB selection method and to evaluate the optimization results of the DOCRs problem. Experimental studies were carried out in two steps. In the first step, to test the performance of the developed dFDB method and optimization algorithm, studies were conducted on three different benchmark test suites consisting of different problem types and dimensions. The data obtained from the experimental studies were analyzed using non-parametric statistical methods and the most effective among the developed optimization algorithms was determined. In the second step, the DOCRs problem was optimized using the developed algorithm. The performance of the proposed method for the solution to the DOCRs coordination problem was evaluated on five test systems including the IEEE 3-bus, the IEEE 4-bus, the 8-bus, the 9-bus, and the IEEE 30-bus test systems. The numerical results of the developed algorithm were compared with previously proposed algorithms available in the literature. Simulation results showed the effectiveness of the proposed method in minimizing the relay operating time for the optimal coordination of DOCRs.