A system and method for efficiently searching directory listing information to obtain more relevant results is provided. In a computer system running a computing application, it is advantageous to provide search capabilities, in the form of a search engine, to operators to assist them in their effort of retrieving desired data. The search engine may cooperate with a data store having directory listing information to provide listings data to an operator. In an illustrative implementation, this search engine may be deployed on an Internet Web site that offers business listing information. The search system may comprise a user interface to enter search query information, a data store that houses a variety of directory listing information according to a predefined data taxonomy, and a means for displaying the search results. In operation, the search engine offers a variety of search options, such as, search by business name, by business categories levels, by geographic position of the user or the business, or a combination thereof. Depending on the search query entered, the search engine will perform either a bounded search (i.e. a search bounded to a specific geographic area), a proximity search (i.e. a search proximate to a computed centroid), or a combination of the two to find the most relevant directory listings. Using the inputted search qualifiers, the search engine polls the data store according to a predefined set of rules and instructions for the relevant directory listing information. These rules are directly related to the taxonomy of the data store.