Over the last couple of years, Foursquare has evolved from a check-in game to a resource for local businesses everywhere. Adding to the growth was the company’s Explore tool.

Explore is similar to other local search tools — like Yelp — in that it enables members to search for a venue by category, name, or even a more specific keyword, such as a type of food.

Later today, Foursquare is expected to roll out the Explore search tool on its website, allowing visitors who are not logged in to search for venues — just like Yelp and Google.

Previously, Explore recommendations were based on check-in activity. Foursquare, which boasts almost 3 billion check-ins and 30 million tips, believes it can provide relevant recommendations for anyone, even if they’ve never checked in.

The company plans on basing search results off of a number of factors, not just check-ins. For example, it will look at what’s popular in an area, what’s trending, where experienced members are going, and what’s popular at certain times of day and week.

While non-members can begin benefiting from Foursquare’s data, logged-in members receive additional perks, such as filters for better organization of search results. These filters will still appear for non-members, but once clicked, visitors will be prompted to download the company’s mobile app.

As Foursquare continues to grow, so does the opportunity for your local business. To get started, make sure that you’ve claimed your venue to take advantage of all that Foursquare offers, including specials, promoted updates, and more.

[Via: GigaOm, Image credit: Nan Palmero]