Jeff Bonforte, Yahoo's vice president of "social search," was among those laid off today. Yahoo's attempts to harness its vast user base to improve search results has never borne fruit. Since Yahoo has said it's cutting back in areas not deemed critical to its future, is Bonforte's departure a sign that social search no longer matters? Unlikely, since Yahoo recently incorporated Del.icio.us, the Web bookmarking service it bought from Joshua Schachter in 2005, into its search results. And management of Yahoo Answers, another Bonforte responsibility, was moved to Europe. More likely Bonforte, ostensibly Schachter's boss, was deemed inessential to the effort. Yahoo's layer-cake bureaucracy is being sliced away.