Explainer Public

Google Analytics: Tracking Activity on a Page for Which the URL has Changed

Occasionally, as the result of a site redesign or migration, the URL for one of your pages will change.
If this is a page you want to track, it is helpful to be able to see the activity for both pages together, so that you can continue to see and compare trends in page activity.
One way to do this is to filter a report in Google Analytics using a regular expression to only capture the activity from the two URLs in question.


When the Mason core website was redesigned in August 2015, the URL which represented the Admissions landing page changed. When the redesigned core website was launched, overnight traffic which had been directed to was now directed to

Because these two pages are on two different Mason websites, we will use the university Google Analytics roll-up property, which includes analytics data for both of these sites (and more).

Setting Value Notes
Account Mason Google Analytics Roll-Up  
Property Mason Google Analytics Roll-Up  
View [PROD] Mason: Roll-Up 1.0 (2012-02-21)  
Report Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages  
Date Range Jul 15, 2015 – Aug 31, 2015 The Mason core website launched on August 9th, which is about in the middle of this date range. See annotations in report.
Filter Include -> Page -> Matching RegExp: ^admissions\.gmu\.edu/$|^www2\.gmu\.edu/admissions-aid$ In plain English: the full ‘page’ field value is either “” or “”.

Note the gaps in analytics information due to configuration issues surrounding the launch of the new website.

Plot Rows and You can now see how the activity of the two pages ‘switched’ on August 9th. But it could be more clear.
Plot Scale Week This scale ‘evens-out’ the day-to-day vagarities, so you can more easily see the overall trend.

Now you can clearly see the ‘switch’ in activity between the two URLs. You can still see the ‘dip’ in pageviews during the time period when the tracking configuration issues were taking place.