The effect of a single pawn move is felt in 3 area's:
- Opening and closing of diagonals
- Opening and closing of files
- Giving up the control of squares while getting the control of new squares
The move e4-e5 opens two diagonals. If this is beneficial or not depends on who's bishop is on those diagonals.
At the same time another set of diagonals is closed. Assuming that the pawn is well defended on the new square. If the closing of the diagonals is beneficial or not depends on who's bishop is on those diagonals. In general can be said that the white squared bishops have become more active while the black squared bishops have become less active.
Moving the pawn loses the control of d5 and f5 while it acquires control over d6 and f6. This control must be deemed by the possibility to maintain an outpost on those squares. If this is beneficial or not depends on who can maintain an outpost on those squares.
If white takes on d5 there isn't only the usual effect on the diagonals and the squares, but it effects the files too.
For white the e-file is opened while for black the d-file has become open. Again, if this is beneficial or not depends on the one who can make use of the open file.
A pawn move effects the activity of the knight (squares), bishop (diagonals) and rook (files). The criterium for a pawnmove is if it improves the activity of your pieces relatively to the activity of your opponents pieces.