Type in anything you want to search at all. Sometimes I just do gibberish and hit different keys. It really doesn't matter what you search, just put anything in there. You will probably win on your first or second try. When you do, an image will pop up like this:
You usually win 3 or 4 times a day. After you win try a couple more searches to see if you get a double (a second win right away). If you don't get anything after 20 searches- QUIT. You will never win anything more after 20 searches. Leave the site and then go back to it a couple hours later. I usually search in the morning, again in the afternoon, and then again at night. You are also usually guaranteed a win right after midnight.
That is the main way to start earning your swagbucks. For other ways to earn, click on the "Earn" tab at the top of your swagbucks page. A drop down menu will appear with different earning options. I do the daily polls everyday, the trusted surveys, and NOSO. The special offers are kind of hit and miss. Sometimes they don't pay out so I don't usually like to mess with them, and when I do, I ONLY do the free ones.
Anyways, I hope this helps. If you have more questions please feel free to ask me. I am always happy to help!