Fans have been voting for the top 100 riffs since July, choosing from a selection put together by a panel of music critics, record producers, and BBC Radio DJs.
'Whole Lotta Love' was followed by Guns N' Roses' 'Sweet Child O' Mine' in second, AC/DC's 'Back in Black' in third, Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water' in fourth and 'Layla' by Derek And The Dominoes at five.
The Smiths, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits and Status Quo also appeared in the top ten.
Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said that he was "knocked out" by the result.
"I'm knocked out by this, because I didn't expect that to happen," he said.
"There's been so many wonderful riffs along the way. I wanted a riff that really moved, that people would really get, and would bring a smile to their faces, but when I played it with the band, it really went into overdrive.
"There was this intent to have this riff and the movement of it, so it was menacing as well as quite sort of caressing."
The top 30 riffs were counted down by Zoe Ball in Radio 2's Top 30 Greatest Guitar Riffs earlier today.
Acts narrowly missing out on the top include David Bowie, Manic Street Preachers, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, T. Rex, Arctic Monkeys and Metallica.
The Top 10 Guitar Riffs in full:
1. Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
2. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns 'N' Roses
3. Back In Black - AC/DC
4. Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple
5. Layla - Derek And The Dominoes
6. How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths
7. Down Down - Status Quo
8. Money For Nothing - Dire Straits
9. You Really Got Me - The Kinks
10. Money - Pink Floyd